In Portland, Oregon, a gym teacher has gone viral with his “bike bus” at Alameda Elementary School. Coach Sam Balto has brought hundreds of kids safely to school using pedal power, and by sharing fun videos of his bike bus on TikTok , he has everyone talking about pedaling to school, from NBC news to the Weekend Update on SNL. Video player poster image The concept is simple: Kids are encouraged to ride to school by having a train of cyclists all pedaling safely together. Coach Balto makes it fun, encouraging safe riding while adding in goofy elements to keep kids engaged (TikTok dances at stop signs, anyone?).
At the moment, the ‘bike bus’ only runs on Wednesday mornings—during which, the regular bus is nearly empty as most kids within riding distance participate in the bike bus. Video player poster image “What Sam and the bike bus are doing has opened so many eyes!” says longtime BikePortland editor Jonathan Maus. “He’s shown people that when we get out of our cars the true potential of our communities, neighborhoods, and cities can be realized. The thing that gets me most excited are all the other bike buses he’s sparked all over the country. It’s a movement now, and it’s growing.”
All we can say is: Where was this teacher when we were in gym class 20 or 30 years ago? Bike buses beat climbing the dreaded rope or doing a shuttle run any day of the week.